Sublime: Chet Atkins plays "Stars and Stripes Forever" on guitar

If we had Chet Atkins in my parish, I’d argue to make every mass a “guitar mass.” (As long as Chet could play ‘em all, of course…) Here he is, from 1978. If you’ve heard this tune a hundred times, you’ve probably never heard it like this. H/T to good ole Austin. [Read more...]

A blast from the past: "We are one in the Spirit…"

Haven’t heard this in years, but stumbled on this version by the great Christian group “Jars of Clay.” This hymn used to be a staple at mass when I was in high school — and not so very long ago, it was sung at Pentecost and for confirmations, too. Its musical merits are debatable, but [Read More...]

What's wrong with "Praise and Worship" music?

One priest offers his perspective on the music many teenagers hear at youth liturgies: Will the kids today who are raised on a diet of Praise and Worship continue to practice the Faith when they are no longer of that age middle-aged people in the Church want to cater to? I don’t know. But my [Read More...]

In the breaking of the bread …

One reason I look forward to this Sunday’s gospel reading every year is the opportunity it offers to hear this beautiful hymn.  It was sung by our choir at the 11:30 mass this morning.  (I’ve heard it in other settings, too — including, last year, as the communion hymn for a wedding.) Here’s a lovely [Read More...]

"He has been raised!"

Doesn’t that deserve a little “Hallelujah”?  I think so. [Read more...]

"Where are you going? Can you take me with you?"

A little Good Friday meditation for you, from the movie of “Godspell” … [Read more...]

"Jesus took a towel…"

This hymn is sung every Holy Thursday at my parish during the mandatum, the washing of the feet.  It remains one of my favorites.  I haven’t been able to find a recording of it — until now. Here’s “Jesus Took a Towel,” by the late great Trappist composer Chrysogonus Waddell (who lived at the Abbey [Read More...]

Deacons on Broadway?

Well, whaddya know? From the new Broadway musical version of “Sister Act.“ Deacons merit a mention in the lyrics to a big production number “Sunday Morning Fever”: Spread the news! It’s time to rock the pews! We’ve got the Sunday morning fever! It’s a sound that turns your soul around until it makes you a [Read More...]

A revised "Hallelujah" for the Passion

With Holy Week approaching, a reader from Canada sent this my way: Leonard Cohen’s ubiquitous classic, rewritten to tell the story of Christ’s Passion, by singer Kelley Mooney. [Read more...]

"Sing choirs of angels…"

My voice is far from angelic, but I’m laboring mightily to — once again — chant the Exultet this Easter. The hardest part, I think, is just learning it.  And to that end, I’ve been helped immensely by this recording by Fr. Tim Hepburn, from the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  Back in 2008, for my first [Read More...]